Courtesy of Lauren Williams
For so many women, solo travel is becoming less of a pie-in-the-sky idea and more of a reality. Who has the time to wait for friends to get their time off requests and money together? When you want to go, you want to go—and the conventional thinking around traveling alone has become more accommodating to adventurers who aren’t afraid (and who sometimes prefer) to go it alone. This summer, I visited the BodyHoliday resort in St. Lucia. I’m always scouting beautiful and safe destinations for vacationing on my own, and this 5-star wellness property blew me away.
One worry that solo travelers have is that they’ll get restless after a couple of days without the company of a friend. At BodyHoliday, though, you’d have to actually try to be bored. The resort has spared no expense to create an atmosphere of fun, luxury and wellness, with group activities and specialized one-on-one classes and treatments. If you want to make friends and interact with other vacationers, or if you prefer to maintain your own space, you can curate your own experience at the property.
Typically, when I go on vacation, I throw out all the rules—I eat whatever, drink whatever, and never even consider working out. Usually I have to beef up my exercise regimen before and after a trip to cancel out the ungodly amount of sugary cocktails I consume. But my experience at the BodyHoliday was different. The folks at the resort have developed a holistic experience designed to keep you active, motivated and healthy while traveling—a welcome change from my “anything goes” trips of years past.
Take their schedule of events, for instance. Every day, the resort hosts at least a dozen activities including extreme mountain biking, yoga, nature walks, rock climbing, indoor spinning, sailing, diving, beach conditioning and dance. The idea is that you should be able to vacation without sacrificing your day-to-day fitness routine. Sure, you can indulge and enjoy yourself, but throwing away the hard work you put into looking and feeling your best on vacation doesn’t have to be your reality. If you’re especially active and health-conscious, the resort offers one-on-one training and wellness assessments. Guests can also take advantage of a nutrition and lifestyle consultation and receive a customized weight loss plan.
During my stay, I ventured off-campus with a tour guide and hiked the Enbas Saut trail—some 1,050 steps through a rainforest down to a waterfall. It was challenging to say the least, especially after working so hard to reach the bottom, taking in the view, and then realizing that we had to hike right back up those same 1,050 steps to get out of the forest. Our guide added a cultural element to the hike, telling us about the island’s history as we made our way through the wilderness. It was an intense workout, but the fact that it was an outdoor adventure made it much harder for me to skip out on (Were it a treadmill run, I’d have stayed at the pool).
BodyHoliday frequently invites high-demand fitness experts, such as ex-NFL star Randy Moss, to run clinics on the resort’s campus. While I was there, Moss led a high-intensity beach boot camp for guests. I barely made it through the entire exercise, but specialized classes like these are a huge draw for workout enthusiasts.
What about the food? The resort’s chefs are in your corner as well. Each restaurant at this all-inclusive property has a health-conscious menu that doesn’t skimp on flavor. I enjoyed traditional St. Lucian fare like plantains, local fish, made-to-order omelets, barbecued chicken and fresh fruits. I never left a meal feeling deprived, but I also didn’t feel lethargic after consuming a full course.
This winter/spring, BodyHoliday will host a series of yoga retreats (Feb 24-March 3, March 3-10, March 10-17) perfect for women looking to re-center and refocus. Daily spa treatments are also included in the packages (I took advantage of two full body massages), so relaxation here is paramount to the hotel’s mission. If you’re looking for your next solo getaway, BodyHoliday is the place to consider. You won’t regret putting your health and wellness first in this paradise.
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